This post was updated on Nov 29, 2022
For many, there are few things that cause as much anxiety as the thought of discussing a long-term commitment with your partner. Even more so if you haven’t been together for a long time. Even if everything is going well, anyone could be intimidated by opening up with vulnerability and asking the questions regarding your future together.
However, not knowing if your partner sees a future with you and if you share common goals can cause a lot of worry and stress. It’s especially important to check if you see eye to eye when it comes to big things. Yes, things like being exclusive, moving in together, getting married, or having children.
If you’re not sure how to approach these topics or when the best time is to bring them up, read on. Joining a couples retreat relationship workshop may also help you let go of your fears and create a fulfilling future together.
Is It Normal To Be Scared Of The Future In A Relationship?
To an extent, relationship anxiety is common and nothing to worry about. However, for people with past relational pain, it can intensify so much it becomes a source of stress and feels overwhelming to approach the topic. People who are excessively fearful of the future may even sabotage their relationship.
For example, they may start arguing over a petty concern. Or, they may be overcome with jealousy and try to monitor their partner’s every move. This behavior can cause a deep rift between partners.
How Anxious Attachment Plays a Role
A debilitating fear of losing affection can be a trait of the anxious attachment style. Typically, people who attach anxiously didn’t have their emotional needs met in early childhood. Their deep-seated trauma, which is caused by a neglectful or absent parent, translates into their adult lives in this way.
Because they’re out of relational alignment, they act on their fear without thinking things through. They often feel the need to control their partner and the situation, so that they can feel more secure in their relationship.
If you feel that the fear is too intense and it’s taking a toll on your mental health or your relationship, relationship coaching can help you work on it and teach you how to cope in a healthy way. Sometimes, the fear may be caused by a very real threat to the relationship, such as infidelity, incompatibility, or growing apart. Relationship workshops can also help you re-examine your relationship and determine whether it’s worth fighting for.
Is It Important For Couples To Talk About The Future?
It’s important for couples to be heading in the same direction in life. If you have compatible views of the future, it will be much easier to reach your shared goals and keep your relationship strong. Also, one partner’s decisions can have a huge impact on the other one’s life, so they deserve to be in the know.
The best way to make sure that you’re on the same page is to discuss your future plans together. This way, you’ll both know exactly where you stand, avoiding misunderstandings and disappointments.
When Is A Good Time To Talk About The Future In A Relationship?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Any moment when you’re spending time together may be right. It may feel natural to do it when you’re about to move the relationship one step further, such as when you’d like to discuss moving in together.
It could also be whenever a casual conversation points you in that direction. For example, you could touch on having shared accounts one day as you’re talking about your weekly grocery shopping. It’s essential to be open and honest whenever the topic crops up, as well as being willing to hear your partner out.
How Do You Ask Your Partner If They See A Future With You?
There are several tips that you can use to help you introduce the topic of your future together. These can make you feel more confident and help you have a fruitful discussion and gain a better understanding of your partner’s perspective.
- Go With the Flow
Forcing this conversation can make it all the scarier for both you and your partner. You can let them know what your vision of the future is without putting them on the spot.
For example, you may casually mention having a home together or starting a family when it naturally arises in conversation. If they pick up the topic enthusiastically, this may be enough to realize that you’re going in the same direction.
- Ask the Right Questions
To turn the pressure down a notch, you could try asking general questions about their plans and hopes for the future. Then you’ll see whether you’re part of the picture. For example, instead of asking “Where is this going?”, which could make them uncomfortable and feel put on the spot, you can keep the conversation light with questions like: “Where do you want to be in five years?” or “Do you feel like we’re doing well?”
- Be Honest With Yourself and Your Partner
What if your visions for the future don’t align? Don’t just go along with what they say hoping that they’ll eventually come around. If you decide to stay, you’ll have to be able to live with the possibility that they may not change their mind.
Don’t put your needs second either because this may come back to bite you. Examine your needs carefully and see which things you’d be willing to compromise and which ones aren’t up for discussion. For example, you may be OK with not getting married, yet you may need an exclusive, monogamous relationship to be happy.
Where Can I Find a Helpful Couples Retreat Relationship Workshop?
If you’re scared for the future of your relationship, and this is affecting it or your emotional well-being, you may wish to address your concerns through relationship coaching. By working with a trained and empathetic PIVOT advocate, you can discover the true origins of this fear and nurse your inner child back to health. You can overcome your fears of the future in our tailored individual workshops or approach these feelings as a couple by participating in a helpful couples workshop. PIVOT offers you a chance to take a better look at yourself and your relationship. Start your journey toward self-actualization now!